Miami Symphony opens 21st season impressively

By David Fleshler

At the end of World War II, the heroism and suffering of the Soviet people demanded a monumental work from their leading composer, and Dmitri Shostakovich responded with the light, almost Mozartean Symphony No. 9.
The Miami Symphony opened its 2009-2010 season with an energetic, elegantly played performance of the Shostakovich, a world premiere of a student work, and a big-hearted, dramatic account of the Dvorak Cello Concerto. The concert was part of the University of Miami Frost School of Music’s Festival Miami series, which runs through Oct. 30.
The orchestra, led by music director Eduardo Marturet, opened with the world premiere of La Luz y su Desvio (Light and its Deviations), by Andres Cremisini, a composition major at the University of Miami who moved as a child from Venezuela to Weston.
Like many ominous, atonal works of this sort, this well-crafted student work sounds like the score for a horror movie. It begins quietly, with menacing sounds in the percussion and soft, swooping figures in the strings—appropriate for when the audience can see the killer, but the victim can’t—building in clarity, volume and intensity, then fading back to where it began.
The Boston-based cellist Allison Eldredge took the stage for a performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto that was big, dramatic and virtuosic, while going deeper into the work than the typical account of this crowd-pleasing concerto.
At darker moments of the first movement, her playing was so probing that the work sounded as bleak as the Elgar concerto. She handled the formidable technical demands easily, and she had the big cello tone, throaty in the middle register, golden and soaring in the upper, to bring off the work.
In the Shostakovich symphony, orchestra and conductor were at their best. After the New World Symphony, the orchestra’s tight, focused violin section is the finest in South Florida, giving precise, well-phrased accounts of their highly exposed part. The winds–even with the occasional mistake—played brilliantly in a work that makes enormous demands on the section, especially at the blazing speed Marturet took the Presto.
Particularly effective was the  mournful bassoon solo in the Largo, taken over a pedal point in the lower strings. Marturet drew an energetic performance from the orchestra, bringing out the shadows of the work and delivering big, clanking climaxes in a fine opening to its 21st season.

Posted in Performances

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Mon Oct 19, 2009
at 12:16 pm
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